I can’t help b…

I can’t help but recall some of the most devastating moments of my childhood. One such devastating moment was the week my parents left to visit my mom’s suicidal sister. My parents, probably out of desperation, left us with a family from our home group that they didn’t know all that well.

It was one of the worst weeks of my young life.

I don’t recall all the terrible moments of it. I do recall trying to fall asleep in my parents bed and sniffling with tears, missing them. I remember the parents of the family watching us coming in and scolding us, telling us not to cry, threatening us with spankings if we did. I remember the walking on eggshells feeling around them. And how I felt so excluded from the family; like I was expected to take care of myself. And the always constant threat of spankings if we cried.

But the one thing that hurts the most in my memory is when they locked my sister Rachel in the bathroom for 25 minutes.

I don’t remember what it was that she supposedly did. I don’t know why they decided to put her in the bathroom. But nonetheless they told her to go sit in my parents dark bathroom for 25 minutes as a punishment. I still feel so angry that they thought this was appropriate for a child.

I went and sat with Rachel, just for a minute. I was terrified they’d find me and do something to me. But I had to be with her. I went and sat with her and gave her a minute of company. I checked on her to make sure she was okay. That moment stands out to me in memories of my childhood – a moment where I actually cared about my sisters and wished for their wellbeing. I was the big sister, for once.

One thing that I find terribly ironic though, is that later on my dad also refused us our tears. He didn’t want us to cry, either. The very thing these “wicked” people had started, my dad perpetuated. The abuse should have stopped with them. But my dad stole our emotions and called them stupid, nonsensical, unneeded. And I spent many a dark night alone in my room, trying to figure out a way to make my dad stay.

Finally I gave up, and that’s what made me isolate from my family for so long. I couldn’t do it any more. I couldn’t save my dad or make him love me. So I ran away. I tried to find someone who would.

The sad thing is, I never knew my sisters like I could have. I never understood them like I wanted to. Had I known they were going to be brutally murdered a few short years later, I never would have been so distant and cold. But you don’t know what you don’t know, and when you’re hurting you just keep running.

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THIS

THIS

So many leaking thoughts and emotions at this stage.

Reading today, realized that my smoking is switching addictions. So I am definitely in withdrawal.

Went to an in person meeting last night. Later on picked up this book:

 

Yeah. That was fun.

The Sad Ugly “Truth”

I don’t know how long I’ve believed it. As I sit here in my tiny little dorm room with colorful art fresh up on the walls, I don’t even really understand it. When did the lie sneak into my life, little by little? When did it gnash its teeth, grab my heart between them, and give it a shake?

All my life, I’d always looked in the mirror with pride and a little curiosity. I grew up in a very isolated environment, and as a result didn’t have feedback like most high school girls would. I didn’t have other people to say that I was pretty. There were no boys to ask me out (I never got truly asked out by a boy until a few months ago, and I’m 23) and validate my wonderings. But I didn’t ever hate my body. Sure, my chest was a little small. But I’ve always been a tiny person and I knew that was pretty highly valued. My face was generally pretty; my nose is a little bit pug-ish so maybe that would detract. Despite these thoughts, I never loathed, despised, detested my body with the energy of most my girlfriends. I never really understood the cruelty with which they maligned themselves, especially after catching a glimpse in the mirror or putting on a swimsuit. Especially since I saw their beauty and found their love handles to be an addition to, not a subtraction of, their beauty. I wondered how these girls could hate themselves so.

Until recently. Until I began to obsess about the tiny bit of weight gain on my stomach, til I realized I no longer had a six pack, until I saw that my ass was out of proportion with my chest, and my eyes had circles under them if I didn’t put on makeup. I became cruel and heartless. Not out loud, really, but in my head. In my head I criticized my small chest and wished I could be proportionate. I put on shirts and hated myself in them because my chest never filled them out and I looked flat. Or I put on a nice tight fitting shirt with a flattering neckline and noticed that my stomach had expanded to be almost the same width as my chest. For the past year I’ve stared at myself in every mirror, window, reflective surface, seeking answers to the question: “Am I pretty?”

The picture at the bottom of this post was one I took this morning. I was just out of the shower, no makeup or anything. I took it trying to prove to myself, yes, you are beautiful just as you are.

When did I lose sight of the truth? Because still, it refuses to take hold of my heart.

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